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Learning tractable NAT-modeled Bayesian networks


Bayesian networks (BNs) encode conditional independence to avoid combinatorial explosion on the number of variables, but are subject to exponential growth of space and inference time on the number of causes per effect variable. Among space-efficient local models, we focus on the Non-Impeding Noisy-AND Tree (NIN-AND Tree or NAT) models, due to their multiple merits, and on NAT-modeled BNs, where each multi-parent variable family may be encoded as a NAT-model. Although BN inference is generally exponential on treewidth, the inference is tractable with NAT-modeled BNs of high treewidth and low density. In this work, we present the first study to learn NAT-modeled BNs from data. We apply the MDL principle to learning NAT-modeled BNs by developing a corresponding scoring function, and we couple it with heuristic structure search. We show that when data satisfy NAT causal independence, high treewidth, and low density structure, learning underlying NAT modeled BNs is feasible.

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Financial support from the NSERC Discovery Grant to the first author is acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Yang Xiang.

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Xiang, Y., Wang, Q. Learning tractable NAT-modeled Bayesian networks. Ann Math Artif Intell (2021).

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  • Bayesian networks
  • Causal independence models
  • Probabilistic inference
  • Local structures
  • Machine Learning

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

  • 68T05
  • 68T37